A natural birth

It was 5.40 on a Monday morning when my waters broke. Just a dribble on the bed sheets - but at last the day had come! What a considerate little boy, I thought. Beating the rush hour traffic... whoopee!

On getting out the car, I felt an enormous gush of gooeyness running down my legs.
I approached reception with soggy trousers and confidently declined a wheelchair, envisaging a swift labour.

I soon realised what it really means to have your waters break. What I'd imagined as a momentary outpouring, had turned into a veritable flood. Never mind the drenched trousers, I was fast running out of maternity pads. Having unceremoniously stuffed the linen saver into my designer net panties, I discovered I was 3 centimetres -  and the labour pains had begun.

What I couldn't get over was the excruciating pain in my back. It felt like something scraping bits off my spine, one vertebra at a time. With me in agony, my darling husband decided to solve a crossword out loud (and, yes, he soon learnt his lesson!)

Things were getting desperate. The nurse offered me a giant pilates ball. ’It's a birthing ball,’ she smiled, ‘you can bounce on it.’ What the *%$*? I thought, you have GOT to be kidding me! Resigned to my fate, I perched precariously on top of it, clinging to the wheelie table. A sorry sight in a gaping blue hospital gown... Yay.

When I heard I was only 6 centimetres, I promptly bawled. As a person who prides herself on being efficient, this was a calamity.

‘Is it possible to die from pain?’ I asked my husband. He shook his head, giving me a wry smile. The pressure to 'perform' was killing me. ‘I think I am going to go for the epidural,’ I mumbled sheepishly.

Aah, the bliss of modern medicine. Woohoo! I thought, as the warm fuzzy feeling engulfed me.
That anaethetist is a genius... Halleluia!

By 7pm, everyone and their mother were phoning for an update:
‘How far is she?...’ ‘Why's it taking so long?...’ ‘Vodacom wants to know if you want an upgrade...’ AARGH! My mother-in-law suggests a visit. I shake my head vigorously.

They wheeled me into the delivery room around 9, with the nurse giving me a cram course: hold your breath, then push with the diaphragm. Easy peasy, I thought, I'm in the church choir.

My doc strolled in, gnawing on a chicken drumstick. Things had turned quite absurd. With the baby still not fully engaged, I was told to start pushing...

What they didn't tell me was how insanely hard it is to push AND hold your breath. I thought I was going to pass out. I could feel the nurse’s impatient voice urging me along. My thighs felt like cold lumps of meat.

'This baby has got to come out now,' the doctor muttered.

Just as I was about to give up, the nurse shouted something about the sun and the moon and the stars - and I saw a still, blue body being drawn up from under me. I glanced over to see a very worried look on hubby's face. It occurred to me that my baby might not be alive.

'Get him oxygen', the doctor shouted.

Next thing, I saw my husband's face relax. Our beautiful son was alive and well. As I cradled him in my arms, I knew it'd been worth it. It dawned on me how special this relationship was: I had seen him born, while he would one day see me die. This was it. I had become a Mother.

Sound familiar? Share your birth story below or mail it to Chatback@parent24.com

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